Byte Me Article 200 – Keep passwords in a safe place

Keep Passwords in a Safe Place

This week produced both an interesting and extremely frustrating experience when I volunteered to help a friend replace their failing iPhone with a new one.  In this case they wanted to go from an iPhone 4 to the latest iPhone 6 and they had selected JB Hi-Fi in the Rockhampton Stockland Centre as the point of sale.  This retailer had the exact model / colour that they were after as well as the right accessories such as a good quality screen protector.

We dealt with a young sales guy by the name of Andrew who could not have been more friendly and helpful – however when he called Telstra to add the phone to the right customer account the Telstra back of house computer system decided to crash!  Andrew was on hold and then asked to call back and then on hold again before the right Telstra processes could be completed some 2 hours later.  Anyway, thanks to Andrew’s persistence we left with an activated and functioning phone.

My friend was not exactly a techno geek so they had never backed up their previous phone to a PC or to the iCloud (more on this later) however they had 100’s of contacts, some photos and some music that they wanted transferred to the new phone.  None of the phone retailers get paid for helping out here so it was back to our shop to sort it out as we have a PC setup in the workshop with the latest iTunes version specifically for this task.

2014-11-15 Byte Me Article 200 - Vital Details

All the information from the previous phone was transferred and the new phone was configured for larger text, brighter screen, louder speaker and ring tone settings – basically all of the things that make usage easier.  However my friend had forgotten their Apple ID password and also had a separate iCloud username / password – both of which were linked to an email address which they had let lapse at least a year ago.

I would need half the space in this entire newspaper to now explain what we had to do to get around these issues but the moral of the story here is – keep a list of ALL of these important details in a dedicated old style address book that never leaves its resting spot which should be somewhere very safe!  We live in an increasingly security conscious era where even without owning a PC we are required to keep pin numbers for banking, swipe cards for Medicare, passwords for phone accounts and even swipe loyalty cards for fishing shops – where does it end!!!

I had a look through my ‘black book’ and I counted specific details for dealing with / logging into over 200 individual entities.  I have also created a ‘secondary’ email address for many ‘offshoot’ companies such as eBay and Gumtree so that the ‘advertising’ emails from these sources don’t clog up my regular email address.  You have to take the time to have all of these details written down or it will come back to bite you – hard.

After sorting out the phone issues for my friend we setup a remote connection to their office PC from the iPhone so that they could check their work emails and even open their MYOB file while they were ‘on the road’.  We are doing this more and more for customers now and often find ourselves configuring iPads and every type of smart phone to the customers liking.  We also have a list of recommended settings and apps – such as the ‘find my iPhone’ service which is very worthwhile.

Every day we sort security problems for customers, often retrieving passwords that were long forgotten and dealing with software companies like Quicken and MYOB so that we can upgrade customers’ accounting files that are sometimes 10 years out of date!  Modern technology is certainly NOT focused on making itself any easier for the average Joe! 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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